Ángelo García, a former member of the Menudo group – Photo: Jason Mendez for Tribeca Film Festival/Getty Images
The former member of Menudo, Ángelo Garcia claimed that he was “raped a number of times” during his time at the boy band. The singer, who was just 11 years old when he joined the group in 1988, said he was taken advantage of by “predators” and was the target of multiple sexual assaults during his two years with the band.
“During my time at Menudo I was raped a number of times, and that was how predators took advantage of me” commented Angelo, who went into detail about an alleged sexual assault, which he says took place in his hotel room after an undisclosed man gave him alcohol.
According to the New York Post newspaper, Garcia said in the docuseries of HBO Max “Menudo: Forever Young”: “All I remember is that I passed out. When I woke up I was naked and bleeding, so I knew I had been penetrated. I had like, these burn marks on my face from the carpet… I was very confused and didn’t understand.”
Other members of the group, which had 32 different members – including Ricky Martin – over 20 years, they also claimed that were subjected to sexual abuse, as well as intimidation, oppressive working conditions, and drug scandals while working under the representative Edgardo Diaz who was described as “their manager, producer, and surrogate father”. Ray Acevedo, who was part of the group from 1985 to 1988, said: “We were pawns in his business.”
Ray remembered Ricky – a hitmaker like “Livin’ the crazy life”– as the group’s “golden boy” from the moment he joined in 1984. But the singer, who was not interviewed for the four-part series, could reportedly be “brutal” to the other members.
Serge Blass – who was expelled from Slight in 1990 together with Ruben Gomez after they were arrested for possession of marijuana – said: “Being with Ricky was brutal because he had more seniority than me. Then, if someone knocked on the door, I had to open it. If the phone rang, I had to answer it. I was like his housewife.”
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Sergio also recalled how the gang “freaked out” when those around him exposed them to drugs: “We were once in Colombia. I’m with Ruben and we’re arriving at the hotel. We entered our room. All of a sudden, this random guy walks in… And pulls out what must have been a kilo of cocaine… So we freaked out because we didn’t know this person… But the guy was actually one of the producers and promoters.”
Edgardo Diaz did not respond to requests for comment on the documentary’s allegations but has always denied any abuse or wrongdoing in his handling of the group.